On Monday 9th April, a new telephone advice and triage line went live for pregnant women allowing them to access advice and support 24 hours day, 7 days a week from a midwife. The line is for women during pregnancy, labour and following the birth of their baby who are under the care of Royal Surrey County Hospital, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals and Epsom and St Helier Hospitals.
One telephone number connects to the Surrey Heartlands Pregnancy Advice Line – 0300 123 5473, which:
- Triages calls, assess any risks and signposts women to the most appropriate place for their care
- Gives women 24 hour access, 7 days a week to clinical advice from qualified midwives
- Enhances links with emergency services when required for pregnancy-related health issues
- Connects women with midwives who have up-to-date information on the capacity of each maternity unit, enabling midwives to direct pregnant women to the best place for their care or birth at any time
- Enables health professionals to get fast access to a midwife for advice or triage.
This local Pregnancy Advice Line is part of the national NHS Better Births plan to transform maternity services for pregnant women and families with new born babies, offering more personalised care. Surrey Heartlands is one of the first areas in the country to introduce this initiative improving care, giving women more choice and allowing easier access to midwives and other health professionals. Ultimately this means safer care for women and their babies.
The service is based in a bespoke call-centre hub at the South East Coast Ambulance Service Head Office in Crawley working in partnership with the ambulance team. Vicky Williams, Head of Commissioning Acute Paediatrics and Maternity for Surrey Heartlands CCGs, said: “The new Advice Line is a major step forward in achieving our ‘Better Births’ vision to provide sustainable, high quality health care for women and children; responsive and accessible to local need.”
Surrey Heartlands is one of seven early adopter sites for the Maternity Transformation Programme across England.